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Monthly Archives

October 2017

Choosing a Realtor For Your Home

By | Colorado Springs Real Estate | No Comments

Researching real estate agents to find the right one can take a tremendous amount of time. Fortunately there are lots of websites that make the job of choosing a real estate agent easier. Some of the most popular sites include:

1. Zillow.com
2. Trulia.com
3. Agentsranking.com
4. homelight.com
5. Referz.com

You might be wondering if all of these sites have identified the same top real estate agents in Colorado Springs or if they use different criteria and have selected different agents. Let’s first take a look at the Zillow agents.

Zillow Real Estate Agents

Zillow allows you to sort top agents by a variety of criteria including, most active, most recent sales, best local reviews and most listings. For this comparison we will use “most active”. One of the challenges when comparing real estate agents is that many agents have formed teams and their sales activity is combined. It isn’t really comparing apples to apples if one team has 2 team members and another has 50 team members, so we will also filter the results by “individuals”.

The #1 ranked Zillow individual agent is Lauren Schneider with RE/MAX Real Estate Group. Lauren has 54 five star reviews and has 145 recent sales. One recent review from 10.20.2017, “Lauren is one of the few realtors that follows up with your purchase experience”.

The #2 ranked Zillow agent is Michelle Fisher with RE/MAX Properties. Michelle has 66, five-star reviews and has 44 recent home sales in Colorado Springs. She currently has 8 homes for sale.

Homelight Real Estate Agents

Homelight has a slightly different business model than Zillow or Trulia. Homelight compiles that sales data and history for the real estate agents included on their website, however, they attempt to make a recommendation tailored to you and your needs. They recommend a couple of real estate agents and hope that you will choose the realtor they recommend. They receive a 25% referral fee if you decide to buy or sell a house with a real estate agent they recommend. This is the industry standard referral fee.

AgentsRanking Realtor Referrals

Agents Ranking takes more of an old school, personal approach to identifying and recommending real estate agents. They use sales data, however, they also make recommendations based on their personal experience working with hundreds of realtors across the country. They take into account skills such as the agents ability to guide the seller to make home improvements that will increase the resale value of the home being sold, feedback from past clients, quality of marketing and photographs, extras such as the agent including a home warranty for sellers and buyers. Their personalized approach is one that sets them apart from many of the larger companies.

It is clear that there are many ways you can choose a Colorado Springs real estate agents. We suggest that you interview two to three real estate agents prior to making a decision. Find one that offers quality marketing, has 10+ years of experience and has a personality that you like. You’ll be working with this person for a while and the personal connection is important.

Colorado Springs Housing Market Conditions

By | Colorado Springs Real Estate, Home Improvement | No Comments

As the summer housing market comes to an end in Colorado Springs, it’s time to take a look at the numbers to assess the health of the market. According to the Zillow website, Colorado Springs has a current median home value of $256,300. This represents an increase of 9.3% over the past year. The economists at Zillow estimate that Colorado Springs prices will continue rising in 2017 and 2018 to the tune of 3.8%. This tells us that the market is cooling down a little bit and should be welcome news for buyers who have been competing with multiple offers trying to buy a home.

Currently the average list price in Colorado Springs is sitting at about $310,000 or $142 per square foot. The values in the metro area are the same at $142 per square foot. Current rental prices are $1475.

Prices have soared over the past few years. As recently as 2015, you could buy a home in Colorado Springs for about $200,000. The rise in home prices has resulted in home owners feeling comfortable with their equity position in their homes. In the United States, 10.4% of home owners have negative equity; meaning they owe more on their home than it is worth. In Colorado Springs, only 8.1% of homes have negative equity. This tells us that the housing market in Colorado Springs, is healthier than the national average.

Sellers looking to maximize their home value, often look to increase the value by doing some home improvement projects or remodeling prior to listing their house for sale. There are lots of small things you can do to increase the value. Many sellers focus on curb appeal and paint the front door, seal coat the drive way and plant flowers along the side walk. Sellers looking at larger projects may consider using barn wood or reclaimed lumber from a local Colorado lumber yard to build an accent wall, install beams or even replace an old fire place mantel.  Of course, painting will probably be the biggest bang for your buck.

We’re glad to see that prices in Colorado Springs are starting to settle down. We’ve been contacted by so many potential buyers over the past year who we were unable to help due to soaring prices and lack of demand. Now is a great time to begin your home search. The winter months are always a little slower, so you will face less competition from other buyers.

 

home design and remodeling with reclaimed barnwood

Colorado Springs Home Remodeling Trends

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Colorado has tons of great resources for buying reclaimed lumber and barn wood. The use of reclaimed material has surged in popularity in recent years. The trend has been highlighted in many of the recent RH and Pottery Barn catalogs which include beautiful photo spreads of homes finished with reclaimed wood. Timbers are used in everything from decorative walls, kitchen cabinets, counters, flooring, fireplace mantels and beams.

Rough Sawn Oak Shelf

 

Live Edge Reclaimed Wood Shelf (finished and installed by The Old Grain Co (https://getreclaimed.com)

It doesn’t take much to increase the value of your home with some minor updates. Adding shelving in the living room or an accent wall in the family room can make a big difference and really can create a memorable first impression for potential buyers. If you like to take on your own home improvement projects we suggest that you contact a local supplier of reclaimed lumber in your area. Most of these shops are staffed by really helpful professionals who can give you advise on your project. If you get in over your head, they will likely be able to connect you with a local contractor who can finish the job.

Another great place to use barn wood is over the fireplace. An old barn beam can make a beautiful mantel for your fireplace. Expect to spend between $300 and $500 for a nice mantel that is free of rot. You can usually buy mantels finished or if you prefer, you can finish it yourself to match your home decor. Front Range Timber, is a good source of material in the Colorado Springs area. They provide flooring, barn wood or furniture.

You real estate agent can help you decide where your money will be best spent if you are preparing to sell your house. Usually, people find they get the biggest return spending money in the kitchen. If you want to use reclaimed lumber in the kitchen, we suggest that you consider custom cabinets from reclaimed lumber. You’ll get a truly original and custom look that can’t be replicated with something you might buy from Home Depot or Menards.